Once we finished the Mt. Washington climb, our original plan was to shift focus to some long term goals. Obviously, our injuries have thrown a slight wrench in the plans, but we are still moving forward with the following:
- Get Keith lined up with work in his chosen career
- Work with the VA to find a way to connect veterans with people in their community that share the same passions
- Produce a movie about the vision for Ascents of Honor
- Write a book
Keith has a strong desire to give back to his community and is looking to work with the local youth/military in an urban Outward Bound program in NYC. We have a few contacts with OB, so we’ll see where this goes.
Connect w/ Local Vets
The VA cannot disclose the names and contact information of veterans. However, I believe we can develop an experimental-type program where we get some good in depth information on the passions a particular vet may have. Using this information, we can set out to find a ‘placement’ (local community member/group) that would be likely to embrace them. There is a fabulous operation in the educational world that could likely provide the structure to build upon for this program.
Along the same lines, we are planning on working with the local outdoor clubs to spread word of their activities to the area VA and hospitals. Our vision is that either interested vets join trips with civilians, or we facilitate development of introductory, veteran only activities. Trips could be either prioritized on the individual vets interest, or by the activity.
Several of the team is working through many hours of interviews and climbing footage to produce a film, hoping to inspire the public and veterans about the vision of this Ascents of Honor project.
Wayne Harvey and I have run a class at a local high school, on and off, for 20 years. When he retired, we talked about writing a book about the topic. The more I got to know Keith, the more I realized how perfectly his story fit. In essence, the book is about community building by using our adventures to educate and become the person we are here to be. Our adventures require us to leave our comfortable world and wrestle with the challenges within our dreams. Once we are highly competent in our chosen arena, we have a decision to make: stay and become the best we can be; or return to the community that raised us, with the goal of inspiring many, teaching some, and mentoring a few. To make the greatest impact, the Adventurer can then spearhead an effort to solve a tough challenge facing the community. Using the insights, skills, and strengths of our great adventures (be what they may) to face these problems, can illustrate to the community the unique perspective, focus, problem solving and energy our adventures bring out in us. It is the heroic opportunity available to every one of us. We’ll include some of the hero’s myth and the central theme will be Keith’s experience.